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Thursday, September 29, 2016

In Loving Memory

We said goodbye to Miss Little Bit yesterday morning. Things took a turn for the worse on Monday night, and by Tuesday morning, we knew, it was time.

A friend had told me about a veterinarian service called Lap of Love who would come to our home. I just couldn't bear the thought of having her last moments filled with any fear. There was no fear, just peace. The vet, Dr. Christina, was so loving and kind. For such a difficult situation, it could not have been handled better. I was able to be with her, and I felt her take her last breath. Loved and protected to the very end.

One of my favorite pictures. I love the look of disgust. She didn't mind the coat, but she hated those boots. I had just been telling her how cute she looked and she flashed this look at me. 


Happy times. Hiking, one of our favorite things to do. This was taken on Thanksgiving, 2014. We hiked a trail in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado that morning. 


I'm a weepy mess. But, I know my tears are there because she was so loved. If only every person, and every pet could be loved as much as Little Bit, what a wonderful world it would be.

I wanted to share the news, as so many of you have sent such kind words our way. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

As for now, yes, I'm hurting, my heart is broken. But in time, I think that the memories of Miss Little Bit will be so sweet. I have cherished each and every moment I have had with her. She brought so much joy and happiness into my life. 

Little Bit
2000-2016

    




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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Wednesday Showcase

A friend's good fortune is a blessing.
The above quote is from the movie Seven Years In Tibet, and, one of my favorites. This could not be more true today. 

There's a wonderful man who lives in Barcelona, Spain. Creative, kind, and handsome, he is truly one of the last real couturiers, and master pattern makers. 

Social media is a buzz as Francisco Peralta, or Paco, has just released 2 beautiful patterns with Vogue Patterns.

In his traditional, sleek and tailored style, Vogue 1527.


While I enjoy the model pictures, it's the line drawings that I love the most. The pattern features a long jacket/coat, wrap skirt, and a tie blouse. The jacket could easily be shortened to a jacket style. So very versatile. 


The second pattern, and my favorite, Vogue 1526.


The pattern features an over-jacket which could be worn on its own, sleek straight leg pants, and a very sporty top. Take note of the in-seam buttonholes. A trademark of Paco's. He has a beautiful jacket pattern which I've made that has the same feature. You can see the Unique Jacket pattern HERE



For quite a few years, Francisco has been producing the loveliest of patterns. Each pattern is hand drawn by Paco and comes delivered on vellum. A treat for the eyes, hands and mind. 

Below are a few that I have made and love. All can be found in his Etsy shop HERE. I have made the blouse on the right, the draped blouse, a number of times. It's a great, go with anything piece. 


So yes, a friend's good fortune is a gift, a blessing, as Paco's patterns are now available without the high shipping fees from Spain. But, if you don't mind a little splurge, by all means, order one of his original patterns as the experience is well worth the shipping fee. 

I'm looking forward to making up Vogue 1526. It will be the perfect addition to my fall/winter wardrobe.

Congratulations Paco!!! I could not be happier for you.



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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stella Has A Secret

And the secret is...
I finished up my Stella Bag for the sew along last week. WooHoo!!! You're getting the first sneak peek! I think she is so pretty! Next week I'll include pictures of me carrying the bag to give you a better idea of the size. In the mean time, pop over to Swoon Patterns. If you like the Stella Weekender Bag, I bet you'll like lots of the other patterns too. 


This week's post is up on the Sew News blog and you can find it HERE. We are diving head long into all the pockets.
There's a front zippered pocket. In the post I talk about reinforcing the bag prior to inserting the zipper. PLEASE do not skip this step


We also attach the cargo pockets. This is one of those projects where you may initially feel a little intimidated, but once they are attached...nothing but pride :) 


We also attach the handles as the handles should be attached prior to putting the bag all together. I did not use the stiff interfacing in my handles that the pattern calls for. I don't like anything in my hand that feels too hard. Just a quirk. So I used the fusible cotton interfacing on both sides of my handles and I feel that the handles have plenty of stability.


I took Bunny of La Sewista's direction on reinforcing the handles. Not only does it help to secure the handles, I think the "x" design looks rather pretty as well. Thanks Bunny! You can take a glimpse of Bunny's Weekender Bag HERE, HERE, and HERE.    


When I was asked to put together a year of sew alongs for Sew News, I knew that they would like a bag included in the line up, so I began to search for something that I thought was special. For the life of me, I don't remember how I found Swoon Patterns, but I'm glad I did. The patterns are well thought out and the results are amazing!
If you are making a weekender bag, I hope you too are enjoying the process. 



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Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Morning Inspiration/The Artistry of Sewing

Last week I had the opportunity to see the movie, The Dressmaker, starring Kate Winslet. I posted this picture last week when I talked about my experience as I just love it. One of the things I loved about her character was that she was confidant in her skills as a dressmaker. She knew that she had the power to not only make a garment, but transform. And that's what all of us do. As I thought more about the movie, I thought about some pictures that I have saved, so I thought I would share them today. A bit of a celebration of this wonderful skill.


Lucy from I Love Lucy. If you've seen the episode, the effort did not turn out so well. 
The story was that her husband Ricky was upset about how much she was spending on clothes. So she decided that it couldn't be that difficult to make a dress. The result was a disaster. Just proves that it isn't as easy as some may think, and it does take skill that is honed over years to produce a truly beautiful garment. 


Ginger from Gilligan's Island. If you've seen the show, you know that a group went out for what was supposed to be a 3 hour tour and ended up on a deserted island. They were quite the ingenious group, but where did she get the fabric???


John Lennon. I would love to know the story behind this picture. If anyone knows, please leave a comment and share.


Quite a long way from the pretty Hollywood pictures, but I love this picture. Bras she has made all draped around her and ready to be sold. 


I think this picture is priceless. An art being handed down from one generation to another. Reminds me so much of my time with my grandmother. She too had a treadle machine.


A woman and her machine. It's amazing to me that she can balance it on her head! I think the machine represents so much more than just a means for making clothes, it's also a means of income, and thus, freedom.


I especially like the picture below as it states what all of us are, we are quite simply, artists. We have skills that are either being honed, or have been honed over many years. What we do is no longer about making clothes to save money, it's about expression, and it's about freedom. We make our own choices. 


If you have a chance to sit down at your machine today, take a moment to look at your machine and realize that it's not just a machine, it's a tool that we use to create, transform, and bring beauty into our world. 

Have a wonderful week!
Rhonda



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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Night Reflections


A delay is better than a disaster.
                                                                                 From the movie, "Sully"



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Eating For Your Future/Slow Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup

Not only do I find some wonderful recipes on Pinterest, sometimes I also find a great inspirational story. The recipe I'm sharing today comes from Dara of Cookin Canuck. She's a Canadian who now lives in the United States. Not only does she have some wonderful recipes on her blog, her weight loss success story is very inspirational. No magic, just changing her diet and adding a good workout routine. You can read her story HERE.   

The temperatures are beginning to change here in Chicago, and while I enjoy soup year round, I especially enjoy having soup on hand for a quick lunch and an easy supper. This one appealed to me because of course I love vegetables, and I especially enjoy barley.


I also love throwing all the ingredients in a slow cooker and going on about my day. 
This recipe has carrots, sweet potato, green beans, celery, onion, canned tomatoes, and barley.


The result is a very satisfying bowl of soup. You can find a printable version of the recipe HERE

I will make a couple of changes the next time around. The addition of a bay leaf would be nice, and 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms would also be a great. Mushrooms and barley just seem to go together to me.  

Hope you'll give the recipe a try. You might want to make up a pot and invite a few friends over for a bowl. I think they'll love you for it. I know I would :) And If you want an easy dessert to add to the meal, try out the Apple Tart I posted HERE.  


Happy Fall!
Rhonda



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Friday, September 23, 2016

The Dressmaker

I had the wonderful opportunity to see a screening of The Dressmaker on Wednesday evening. While the clothes are central to the movie, it's about so much more. A bit of a Shakespearean tale of love and revenge. But, it also is a lesson on hate, jealousy and how both can destroy those who seek to destroy another.   


Kate Winslet plays the role superbly. I loved that she is not this tiny little wisp of a woman, but a woman with curves, and it's the curves that really make the clothes come to life. There's a line early in the movie where one of the town's people says, "a dress can't change anything." Kate Winslet's character replies, "watch and learn."  


I love this picture. The power of a sewing machine and how it can not only transform a piece of fabric, but a person's entire life. 


I've included the trailer, In my opinion, the trailer really doesn't capture the true essence of the movie.   



There's a motto that I live by, "No weapon formed against me will prosper." What I have learned, is that for a period of time, those who hate us and want to see ill come our way may seem to have the upper hand. But, in time, in time, right will prevail. The truth will be made known. And this is the true essence of the movie.

The movie is funny, dark, haunting, sad, and uplifting. This is a movie that I look forward to watching again. It's a rich story that I think will have a little something different to say each time I see it. 



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